Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Awesome Pickup Line Potential Alert for April 30

April 30 is National Poem in Your Pocket day. The Academy of American Poets, in honor of the end of National Poetry Month, asks that we consider printing or writing out our very favoritest poem and tucking it in our pockets tomorrow. In theory, we’re supposed to find other folks with poems in THEIR pockets and share. Not exactly easy to do unless you’re in a closed environment, like my workplace, for example, where I’ve been bugging my colleagues to participate for weeks.

That being said, it’s awesome icebreaker potential for Derby Eve: So, I noticed you from across the crowded bar, and I thought to myself—he looks like a literarily minded guy, I bet HE has a poem in his pocket for Poem in Your Pocket Day. Do you have a poem in your pocket you’d be willing to share with me?

Or, of course, there’s always: “Is that a poem in your pocket…?”

In Lou’s pocket tomorrow: “Paradiso” by Kenneth Koch. Koch, one of the New York School Poets, was a college professor and mentor of mine. Published this in the New Yorker either just before he died or immediately posthumously. He taught me that I was kind of a shitty poet. I’m grateful for that.

Added: It's Derby Eve Eve or Oaks Eve, really.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What Koch taught you was to trust yourself. He thought you'd cheated on a writing assignment; that you’d plagiarized. So he made you write in front of him, and you did. And he read it, and he said something like, "You may go."

You taught a curmudgeon he wasn't always right... but maybe he was trying to teach you something else. Maybe he saw you didn’t trust yourself and tried to make you see you had some talent. Maybe he knew you wouldn’t learn his lesson; to trust in yourself. Maybe you were both right and both wrong. And that’s actually an epic poem in my pocket.